Squamish Health and Land Use Planning Learning Lab

SSG assembled a set of land use scenarios and their potential health outcomes as part of the District of Squamish’s Learning Lab – Exploring Health Tools for OCP Review Project. The purpose was to explore the potential impacts of different land use decisions on community health in the District using a tool called HealthProof, which was developed by SSG.

HealthProof is an excel-based model, which utilizes land use archetypes to allow users to model current and alternative community land use scenarios without needing to collect and input GIS data. Outcomes are generated by the tool that have health implications, which include basic predictions on the types of travel people are engaging in, numbers of people exercising by travel on a daily basis, quantities of air pollution produced, and predicted mental health in accordance with access to nature.
Three land use scenarios for Squamish’s downtown and surrounding area were tested as demonstrations of how the tool could be used to explore health outcomes. These were: baseline (an approximation of current conditions), downtown urban residential development (meant to depict the impacts of altering a sample plot that was outlined in the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan), and downtown densification (showing the conversion of the core downtown area to urban mixed use).

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